Every year, towards the end of March, millions of Americans watch and follow the NCAA’s March Madness, a 68-team basketball knockout tournament between universities across the US. The NCAA, the committee which executes college sports picks 36 of the 68 teams to take part in the competition, but this year, there were some surprisingly high ranked schools which missed out on the competition. Colleges such as Louisville, USC, and Oklahoma State were not picked by the NCAA to take part, but the reasoning behind this does not have anything to due with how well or the way the play basketball. In fact, many of the colleges that were not picked for the competition had one key thing in common: some schools were part of an ongoing FBI investigation involving bribery.
Some players have been thought of to have been paid to choose to play for one school over another. Sometimes, these payments are done by agents or financial advisers who want quality players for their team, but along with these agents, clothing companies have also been found guilty. A clothing company, who had a partnership with The University of Louisville was found to have bribed students to select Louisville over other colleges so that the company can get their name out through the athlete.
Along with players, coaches have been found guilty in accepting bribes. According to SB Nation, one coach was paid 13,000 USD and another 22,000 USD to try and convince students to play for their schools over others.
So yes, bribery is a violation of the NCAA’s rules (and federal laws), and the players and coaches should not have accepted money like this, it’s an immoral way to pocket money. But that begs another question as to why college athletes don’t get paid. Majority of the school’s popularity and followings are a result of their athletes who bring the schools millions of dollars every year. Along with that, athletes are also putting their bodies on the line, risking injuries for the school to play the sports.
With that being said, however, some may argue that at the end of the day, these players are amateurs, not professionals. Also, many of these players receive scholarships for playing and pay less if not anything at all for their college tuition.
Going into the future, if college players don’t get paid, they’ll be more inclined to accept bribes from companies and agents. The NCAA will have to work much harder on preventing this kind of corruption in college sports. However, if players started getting paid, they would be less inclined to accept bribes and even increase competition as some schools will not be able to bribe top players as much. Along with trying to eradicate corruption and increase competitiveness, the players bring in millions of dollars for the schools and can risk injuries, therefore, should be receiving payment for their services to the school.